The ingredient I enjoy most in the summer is the tomato. Sure I cook with tomatoes year round, but never is this fruit more delicious and juicy than in the summer months. At this time you can enjoy it fresh or very simply cooked and prepared.

Here I present you with a quick, delicious and nutritious dinner that you can have ready in less than 30 minutes. (Ok, maybe it will take you 40 minutes the first time you try it, but once you have it down, it is a breeze). Double the recipe to use the whole eggplant and you have ingredients for a fantastic eggplant parmesan sandwich the next day for lunch.

Grilled Eggplant and Tomato Pasta

  • ½ small eggplant
  • 1 medium tomato
  • ½ small yellow onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 3-4 Tbs olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Spaghetti*
  • 1 ½ tsp chopped fresh basil, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 Tbs freshly grated parmesan, divided

*(Make an O with your thumb and forefinger, cook about half that amount of pasta for a light summer dinner).

Turn grill on to medium high heat. Place a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.

Cut eggplant either in rounds or lengthwise into 1/8-1/4” slices. Cut tomato into ¼” slices. Brush olive oil onto both sides of eggplant and tomato. Cut onion half into three parts and garlic into thin slices. Toss garlic and onion in remaining olive oil to coat.

When grill is hot, place tomato and garlic onto a piece of aluminum foil (heavy duty if you have it) with the edges folded up to keep the juices from spilling. Lay foil on grill. Place eggplant and onion directly on grill and close the lid.

Cooking times for vegetables will vary depending on thickness of the eggplant cut and grill temperatures. After about 5-8 minutes, flip the eggplant and onion and close the lid. (Additional cooking time will be needed if using an open grill) Add spaghetti to the boiling water while eggplant cooks for another 5-8 minutes. When eggplant is done it will appear soft and slightly charred. Remove from grill and cover with foil to keep warm. Continue to cook the onion, tomato and garlic for another 5 minutes. Check spaghetti. When it is al dente, drain and toss with 2 tsp olive oil, 1 ½ tsp basil and 1 Tbs parmesan. Place in pasta bowl or on plate.

Place cooked onion, garlic and tomato in a mini-food processor or blender. Add 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Puree for just a few seconds.

Place eggplant on pasta and top with tomato sauce, more basil and fresh parmesan.DSCN0946